Sebi seeks help from banks, KRAs to verify Sahara investors
New Delhi: Market regulator Sebi has decided to seek help from public sector banks and KYC Registration Agencies (KRAs) for carrying out 'in-person verification' of about 3 crore investors in the high-profile Sahara case.
Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) is already in the process of hiring outside investigating agencies to assist it in the matter involving two Sahara group companies, which have been asked by the Supreme Court to refund to their bondholders Rs 24,000 crore along with interest of 15 percent per annum for violating norms in raising funds from public.
The capital markets regulator has now invited bids from public sector banks and Sebi-registered KRAs for assisting it in "carrying out the KYC-related in-person verification of bondholders" in pursuance with implementation of the Supreme Court order dated August 31.
The court has asked Sebi to facilitate the refund after verifying about 30 crore documents, comprising of application forms and other records of an estimated three crore investors.
Sebi is also hiring a Registrar and Transfer Agent (RTA) to help it in the data and payment processing related works in the case. The RTA's job would involve scanning and verification of investor documents, setting up and managing of toll-free investor helpline and grievance redressal cell and processing of payments to the genuine investors.
As the number of investors involved in the Sahara matter is very large, Sebi has decided to seek help from banks and KRAs as well, for checking the credentials of the investors by way of "in-person verification" of those listed by Sahara group firms as their bondholders.
KRAs are agencies mandated by Sebi to carry out KYC (Know Your Client) registration activities for various market entities, including brokerage firms and mutual funds.
In a public notice late last month, Sebi had said that Sahara has not submitted the relevant documents to it and the regulator has been receiving complaints of investors being forced to switch to schemes in its other Sahara group companies.
Sebi has asked these investors against yielding to any pressure for switching over their investments in two Sahara companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) -- to other group companies.
The market regulator has also approached the Supreme Court against Sahara group for not complying with the court order relating to furnishing of documents and other details of the concerned investors within 10 days of the order, dated August 31.